So you have decided to go for a used car instead of a completely new one.
This is a good decision if you are looking to save some money and at the same time get a pretty decent vehicle.
However, finding one and inspecting it online can be tricky. It is always better to check the car in person, but sometimes it simply cannot be done if you are living in a different city.
Either way, there are some things that you need to do before you decide to buy a used car online.
Find Out About the Vehicle’s History
This is an important factor and probably the one that you need to do first. Thorough research will help you determine if the car has been in an accident before or if it had any recalls.
Tricky owners may try to hide this from you but you can simply investigate by yourself online with a VIN number.
Inspect the Exterior
It can be really hard to inspect a vehicle online, but if the owner has put an effort and added good-quality pictures it is quite doable.
The first thing that you should look for is signs of rust and paint damage. Small patches can easily be fixed or covered but big holes mean that you should skip the car entirely.
There could also be some frame issues that you need to determine. You can easily inspect that by seeing if something is hanging from the undercarriage. Also, make sure to look at the bumper carefully for dents. If there are pictures, check the trunk. If there aren’t any, consider asking for added ones. New bolts and warping are usually a sing of a recently fixed damage from an accident.
Finally, check the condition of the tires. Uneven treads and added wear and tear can mean that the vehicle is not aligned properly.
Check the Inside of the Car
The same thing as with the outside and quality pics goes for the inside of the car.
The first and probably the easiest thing to investigate is the upholstery. Check for stains and tears. This is something that can be very expensive to repair so make sure that you have a good one when you buy it.
The same thing goes for the plastic parts and the dash. Wear and tear can sometimes damage the interior of a car to a great extent and lessen its quality.
Mileage is also something that you can easily check. An average car can reach about 12,000 miles (20,000 km) a year. In order to determine if the car has low or high mileage simply divide the number on the odometer by the vehicle’s age.
What About Everything Else?
In ideal situations, you would want to see the car in person. Certain things have to be determined based on a real-life experience that the pictures simply cannot show.
The most important part which is missing from the experience of buying a car online is the fact that you can’t go on a test drive. A test drive is probably the most important part of buying a used car.
All in all, these are some of the most important things that you have to look for when buying a car online. Do not rush into a decision yet, do your homework and examine everything carefully.
That is the best advice that I can offer you.